The Thinking 

The Meaningless University

December 9, 2012


INEZ writes:

I thought you and your readers might find this news from my alma mater both interesting and disturbing:

The University of California is changing its seal from its traditional one (bearing the motto, “Let There Be Light”) to a modern monstrosity that looks like a toddler’s drawing on the old Window’s program Paint.


— Comments —

Kevin M. writes:

The proposed logo for the University of California is ridiculous. Yes, it does resemble a child’s attempt at artwork done on a computer, but what is more striking is its pathetic and transparent attempt to avoid offending anybody (save those of us with any sense of taste). The march of PC pabulum continues apace with such nonsense. The most offensive thing I find about contemporary social trends is the pervasive insistence to avoid giving offense. We are being hypersensitized as a result. Just as the tree sheltered from the wind has the weakest branches, our ability to deal with other people is being neutered by such tripe.

And we all know the impetus for a change of logo: “Let there be light” set off a bomb somewhere, and now a tradition over 100 years old has to be changed to prevent further damage.

The devolution into Idiocracy will not be resisted.

Laura writes:

It looks like a transit authority logo, the sort of symbol that identifies a bus stop or subway station. Note the statement by the university spokeswoman in reaction to complaints about the logo: “Like anything with design and change, people have opinions.” She is the human equivalent of this logo: bland, uninspired and opposed to higher standards.

Thomas F. Bertonneau writes:

The old seal, in addition to its Christianizing motto, reveals an open book, linking the achievement of literacy to the philosophical and religious idea of truth.  The new seal is therefore, in addition to its other obnoxious characteristics, a repudiation of literacy, the indispensible basis of higher education in principle, and the western idea of a rational universe going back to the Logos philosophy of Heraclitus and the Decalogue of Moses.  Of course, the new seal, which the university will undoubtedly adopt, is merely a symbol, and the reality that its symbolizes is much sadder than the symbol itself.  Nevertheless, the new seal feels to me, all of whose higher education right up to the doctoral level took place at UCLA, like a cold slap in the face and a cynical betrayal.  The suicide of of institutions is a terrible sight.

Speaking of UCLA, its signature building is Royce Hall, modeled after the Cathedral of St. Ambrose in Milan and named after the philosopher Josiah Royce.  The building is decorated here and there on its interior with chiseled quotations from the work of Royce, including this one: “Education is learning to use the tools which the race has found indispensable.”  I wonder how long it will be before the administrations sandblasts those quotations away?

Joe A. writes:

Fiat lux conflicts with fiat ordo, thus elimination is required.

Terry Morris writes:

How does the old saying go? There are two kinds of people in the world – those who sincerely pray to the Lord “Thy will be done,” and those to whom the Lord says “thy will be done.”

Let there be darkness at the U. of C.

Mrs. M. writes:

As the mother of a toddler, I must say that my toddler’s computer graphic work shows more passion and creativity than the dull, bland logo unveiled by the University of California!

J.N. writes:

During the past two decades, the growth of administration at U.C. has greatly outpaced the growth in students and especially the growth in faculty. If highly paid administrators did not undertake tasks absolutely essential to the educational mission of U.C. such as changing the U.C. seal, then cutting administration might appear preferable to cutting faculty or raising tuition. Fortunately, administrators and their friends on the Board of Regents are responsible for making budget decisions at U.C. and can ensure that the correct priorities are maintained.

Buck writes:

Aside from the idea that the seal is too old, too traditional and obviously too particular, isn’t a more global and more universally appealing logo, similar to this one, which is free of content, intended for the ignorant who, it is assumed, will find it compelling for that very reason?

Consultus writes:

At least they get credit for truth in advertising. The removal of the book says, “No content here.”

Of course, that’s not right, either. There is content. It’s all Leftist propaganda.

These changes to accommodate PC do not create peace among factions. Typically, they further embolden those who think their own special group is entitled to take offense.

James P. writes:

I think it clearly symbolizes a sperm cell being denied access to U.C. students’ wombs by the power of taxpayer-subsidized contraceptives.

Laura writes:

Hmm, now that you mention it …

J.N. writes:

I think some of your readers are misinterpreting the implications of the proposed new U.C. logo. So far as I can tell, it has been universally rejected by the U.C. professoriate. The new logo is instead an outcome of the increasing corporatization of UC. Modern academia, however liberal, still has some remnant of traditional scholarship. It is the modern corporation that has emptied itself of all meaning and cares solely about branding and nothing about truth. The corporatizing influence (carried out in the name of “business efficiency”) is an even greater danger to traditional values than leftist faculty.

Kevin R. writes:

I  attended a lecture recently at USC and had a little time to wander the campus and observe the students and faculty. Granted, there were two or three historic buildings that were architecturally impressive, and some significant art pieces on display. But the campus appears run down and is surrounded by a literal ghetto.

I noticed a large, well-built Methodist chapel at the forefront of campus (which has now been converted to a diversity worship center). I had not known that USC had been a Christian institution in the beginning. It was interesting to me to see the large stone plaque at the entrance to the school, which all the students walk by without noticing. I wrote down the words that were cut into the granite as they fade away like those epitaphs on ancient headstones in a cemetery:

The University of Southern California


To the glory of God and to the preservation of the republic,
an institution of higher learning dedicated to the search for the dissemination of the truth,
to freedom of thought and discussion,
to intelligent, unbiased analysis of the forces that have shaped the past and will mold the future,
to the development of manhood and womanhood
for Christian service and loyal citizenship.

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